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    Hot Springs private school offering free tuition

    6:57 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
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    (Photo: Thinkstock)

    HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- A Hot Springs private school, previously known as Hot Springs Christian School, is changing its direction.

    Bill Vining, superintendent of Hot Springs Community School says the private school will now open its doors to better the community.

    "We're trying to stop the cycle of poverty, very few people are doing that."

    That's the vision Vining has for his once-private institution.

    At the start of this school year, Vining says every student at Hot Springs Community School will attend tuition-free.

    "We don't have any tuition, there's no tuition, it's all scholarship. It's like, 'ok, how you going to do this'?

    Every parent is encouraged to donate what they can, but it's not required. The school also operates with minimal staff.

    Vining said there is one teacher for 1st through 6th grade and another teacher for junior high and high school.

    "They learn from each other and they learn at their own pace."

    According to Vining, this type of concept is known as the empowered learning concept.

    "Our idea is to empower the kids to learn. Instead of coming out of a system or a situation where their dependent on the teacher."

    Vining hopes that by offering a free option to the community, this will allow students to attend a school that fits their learning needs and help underprivileged youth break a growing cycle.

    "That model would include putting kids out in college and having kids come up and graduate here that will then in turn go have solid homes, they will have solid families."

    The community, Vining said, has responded well for this next school year.

    "We filled up quickly with kids that were not working out for whatever reason in their educational setting."

    Vining is still looking for donors to help with his free tuition private school.

    He said grant money helps pay for some of the school's technology, but it will take the community to see his vision come to fruition.

    All slots for the upcoming school year are full.

    Vining said if enrollment continues to increase, they will look into applying for a charter to help the school with funding.

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